BRIT Awards 2022: Adele collects the first gong of the night

‘This award has changed but I love being a FEMALE artist!’: Adele hits back at the woke BRITs as she beats Ed Sheeran to bag the inaugural genderless Artist Of The Year gong, before tearfully dedicating her third award to her son and ex-husband

It was an Adele of a night for the singer who took home three awards at the BRITS at the O2 Arena on Tuesday, including the first ever genderless Artist Of The Year award after the male and female categories were scrapped.

The Easy On Me singer, 33, appeared to hit back at the ‘woke’ ceremony as she insisted she ‘loves being a female artist’, after bosses bowed to calls to rid the awards of gendered categories.

During her acceptance speech, Adele told the audience: ‘I understand this award has changed but I love being a female artist!’, as she referenced the changes the awards board had made to the ceremony.

Wow! It was an Adele of a night for the singer who took home three awards at the BRITS at the O2 Arena on Tuesday, including the first ever non-gendered Artist Of The Year award after male and female categories were scrapped 

Adele, who also won the award for Song Of The Year and the coveted Album Of The Year, beat hotly-tipped contender Ed Sheeran after they both released long-awaited albums around the same time last year. 

The BRIT Awards sparked controversy last year after ditching the traditional male and female categories and switching to gender-neutral gongs for the first time in its history, causing naysayers to brand the event ‘woke’. 

Organisers divided opinion and some were left outraged by the decision to switch to gender-neutral gongs for the first time in its history, in calls led by non-binary singer Sam Smith.

Bosses claimed the move was in a bid ‘to be as inclusive and as relevant as possible’ and allowed people to enter who do not identify as a man or woman. 

But fans blasted the change as ‘woke drivel’ at the time, with many calling for a boycott.

Adele swept the board following her return to the BRITs, where she took home gongs in all three categories that she was nominated in.


Thanks: The Easy On Me singer, 33, appeared to hit back at the ‘woke’ ceremony as she insisted she ‘loves being a female artist’, after bosses bowed to calls to rid the awards of gendered categories

During her speech for her third award, for Best Album, Adele emotionally decidated the gong to her son Angelo, nine, and her ex-husband Simon Konecki.

Tearful Adele, said: ‘Thank you, again the company I’m in really is phenomenal. Thanks to everyone I work with. But I want to dedicate this to my son. And his dad. Because it’s about them. I’m really proud of myself for sticking to my guns and putting out something so personal. It’s not something people do anymore.’

‘My son has been so gratious and patient with me over recent years. So it’s for him.’

Also thanking her producer she said: ‘Someone who was integral to this album is producer of the year Inflo. He also works with Little Simz. He helped me so much.’ 

Ouch! Adele’s appearance in her hometown comes as she continues to face backlash for leaving fans thousands of pounds out of pocket when she pulled the plug on her Las Vegas residency shows with just 24 hours notice

Adele’s appearance in her hometown comes as she continues to face backlash for leaving fans thousands of pounds out of pocket when she pulled the plug on her Las Vegas residency shows with just 24 hours notice.

Host Mo Gilligan kicked off the show by planning his entrance to the show, which saw him mulling over a James Bond style arrival to the stage either by lifting Tower Bridge or arriving in a flashy sports car.

Executives dismissed his proposal in favour of reducing carbon emissions but Mo was told he could still bring his mandem and arrived in a troop of BMXs. 


Smash hit: He welcomed everyone to the O2 Arena and Ed Sheeran opened the show with his No.1 single Bad Habits. Ed brought an unexpected duet to the evening as Bring Me The Horizon joined him for a remix of his hit

Hosting the show! Host Mo Gilligan kicked off the show by planning his entrance to the show, which saw him mulling over a James Bond style arrival to the stage either by lifting Tower Bridge or arriving in a flashy sports car

He welcomed everyone to the iconic arena and Ed Sheeran opened the show with his No.1 single Bad Habits. Ed brought an unexpected duet to the evening as Bring Me The Horizon joined him for a remix of his hit.

The rock version of the track featured an explosive performance from Ed and the band, with a troupe of backing dancers and incredible aerial artists.

Welcoming celebrities and viewers alike to the cereony, Mo said: ‘Welcome to the 02 Arena for the biggest night in British music. We’ve got Dave, Sam Fender, Lil Simz, Adele, just to name a few.

Referencing the Brits decision to scrap gendered cateogorites this year, Mo said: ‘There’s no gender to the awards, everyone thought it was great apart from the male artists who realised they were now up against Adele.’

Elsewhere, presenter Maya Jama was on backstage duties as she read out the cocktails on offer. She said: ‘Man like mojito, cos-mo-politian… I’m basically responsible for every artist getting bladdered.’

Ted Lasso actors Hannah Waddington and Brett Goldstein were the first celebrity presenters, who read the nominees for Best Song and revealed as predicted by Mo that Adele’s Easy On Me had bagged the award. 

In a short but sweet speech, Adele said: ‘Thank you so much! I didn’t realise that was that many nomiees. I can’t belive a piano ballad won against all those bangers. I love coming home and the Brits is such a big part of my career. Way back from when I was little.’


Hello! Welcoming celebrities and viewers alike to the cereony, Mo said: ‘Welcome to the 02 Arena for the biggest night in British music. We’ve got Dave, Sam Fender, Lil Simz, Adele, just to name a few’

Casual: Ed looked typically low-key in a red jacket, Stone Island trousers and Nike Dunks

Mixing it up! The unexpected duet set the arena alight


Wow! Adele has bagged the first award of the night at the Brit Awards 2022 and took home the Best Song award after facing some tough competition on Tuesday evening

Courtney Cox and Johnny McDaid were on hand to present the next award, Best International Artist.

The Friends star said: ‘We are here to present the award for the International Song Of The Year’, with nominees including Billie Ellish, Doja Cat and Drake… but Olivia Rodrigo’s Good For You took the win.

Following the award, Anne-Marie and KSI took to the stage for a joint performance, however their routine got off to an awkward start when the singer stumbled and almost tripped over at the start.

Anne-Marie quickly recovered and wowed the audience with a stunning performance. The moment was reminescent of when Madonna tripped and fell off stage during the Brits 2015.

International stars: Courtney Cox and Johnny McDaid were on hand to present the next award, Best International Artist


Good For You! The Friends star said: ‘We are here to present the award for the International Song Of The Year’, with nominees including Billie Ellish, Doja Cat and Drake

Next up, Best Pop and R&B was awarded to Dua Lipa, who was unable to attend due to a performance in Miami but she had prepared a message thanking her team and fans following the win.

During a night of unexpected duets, newcomer Little Simz took to the next stage to perform. However part way through she was joined by British actress Emma Corrin, who played Diana in The Crown.

Emma,  26, had a spoken word section during Little Simz performance.

Rock legend Ronnie Wood was awarding the all new Alternative Rock category, which featured acts including Glass Animals, Tom Grennan, Coldplay and Sam Fender.

The icon thanked the groups and artists for ‘keeping the rock tradition alive’, before announcing that his ‘favourite’ Sam Fender was the winner in the category.

Whoops! Following the award, Anne-Marie and KSI took to the stage for a joint performance, however their routine got off to an award start when the singer stumbled and almost tripped over at the start

What a pro! Anne-Marie quickly recovered and wowed the audience with a stunning performance

Holiday! KSI joined Anne-Marie and later perfomed Holiday

The award was shortly followed by Best Dance Act, which was handed over by dance legend David Guetta. Becky Hill ‘fended off fierce competition’ to bag the win.

Becky noted that it has been 16 years since the Brit Awards had a dance category as she thanked the academy for the honour, as well as a host of others since her career was kickstarted on the Voice. 

Next up was Liam Gallagher’s hotly-anticipated performance, which came moments after Mo offered viewers a bizarre impression of the Oasis rocker. Despite a night of unexpected duet’s, he wasn’t joined by his brother Noel.

Wow! During a night of unexpected duets, Little Simz took to the next stage to perform. However part way through she was joined by British actress Emma Corrin, who played Diana in The Crown

Graceful: Emma, 26, had a spoken word section during Little Simz performance

Electric: Little Simz put on a stunning performance

Following last year’s record breaking Best Group announcement, which saw female band Little Mix take home the gong for the first time, Eurovision winners Maneskin awarded Wolf Alice with this year’s award. 

Wolf Alice said the acolade was ‘unbelievable’ as they admitted they were ‘quite shocked’.

As the cameras panned back to Mo and Maya, the host had to apologise for swearing earlier in the show.

Back to his roots: Next up was Liam Gallagher’s hotly-anticipated performance, which came moments after Mo offered viewers a bizarre impression of the Oasis rocker. Despite a night of unexpected duet’s, he wasn’t joined by his brother Noel

Rock n Roll: Liam set the crowd alight with excitement during his performance

The next award was Best International Artist, presented by Dr Who actor Jodie Whittaker and Line Of Duty star Vicky McLure. They announced that Billie Ellish was the winner.

Billie, who previously won the same award last year, thanked the Brits for honouring her again before telling fans she couldn’t wait to perform later this year at Glastonbury festival.

Moments later Griff took on presenting duties as she introduced the Brits Rising Star performer, Holly Humberstone, after bagging the award last year and admitting how much it had changed her career.

‘My favourite’: Rock legend Ronnie Wood was awarding the all new Alternative Rock category, which featured acts including Glass Animals, Tom Grennan, Coldplay and Sam Fender

Well done: The icon thanked the groups and artists for ‘keeping the rock tradition alive’, before announcing that his ‘favourite’ Sam Fender was the winner in the category

Holly stunned with a rendeition of her track, London Is Lonely.

Following the same tone, Olympic diver Tom Daley and singer-songwriter Celeste, announced that Little Simz was the winner of the Best New Artist award.

Receiving the award, Little Simz said: ‘Thank you so much, look at what you done mum. Look at what you done. Thanks to everyone who supported me on my journey.’

Arguably the performance everyone was waiting for soon came from Adele, who took to the stage to sing her single I Drink Wine, wearing a dazzling gold off-the-shoulder dress.


Woohoo! The award was shortly followed by Best Dance Act, which was handed over by dance legend David Guetta. Becky Hill ‘fended off fierce competition’ to bag the win

Happy: Following last year’s record breaking Best Group announcement, which saw female band Little Mix take home the gong for the first time, Eurovision winners Moleskin awarded Wolf Alice with this year’s award

An emotional-looking Adele blew kisses and waved as the crowd erupted into applause. 

Adele – who has been hiding out at boyfriend Rich Paul’s Los Angeles home in recent weeks – touched down at Heathrow over the weekend and was seen making her way into the airport’s Windsor Suite.

A source at the Vegas rehearsals previously told Page Six late that the singer often made sobbing calls to her boyfriend that interrupted practice.

The source, who was connected to the Caesars Palace management team, said: ‘Adele’s been crying and couldn’t get through a single full rehearsal for the past month. 

‘Just constantly on the phone with Rich… loudly shouting and sobbing. She has barely rehearsed because she is constantly in the middle of an emotional shootout.’


Eerie: Moments later Griff took on presenting duties as she introduced the Brits Rising Star performer, Holly Humberstone, after bagging the award last year and admitting how much it had changed her career

The two were also rumored to be experiencing a rough patch in their relationship of six months, but Adele tried to squash it on social media last week.

She confirmed that she would be performing at the upcoming BRITs, and added at the end of her post, ‘Oh, and Rich sends his love’, appearing to dismiss any claims of strife.

Following her Brits performance, Adele is scheduled to appear on The Graham Norton Show on Friday night amid claims she wants to make her career ‘more about the music’.

The Mail on Sunday reported that she plans to ‘go back to basics’ after a high-profile PR campaign to promote her album, 30, including two TV specials.

I Drink Wine! Arguably the performance everyone was waiting for soon came from Adele, who took to the stage to sing her single I Drink Wine, wearing a dazzling gold off-the-shoulder dress


Delighted: An emotional-looking Adele blew kisses and waved as the crowd erupted into applause

Ian Wright and Arsenal player Bukayo Saka awarded Dave with the gong in the Hip Hop/Rap/Grime category. 

During his acceptance speech, Dave said he knew he was ‘difficult’ as he thanked his friends for sticking by him. Describing himself as a guy who ‘just really, really loves music’.

In the crowd, Mo chatted to Idris Elba – who admitted he was late to the event and had only just arrived – before revealing something ‘unknown’ about him is that he is a good cook.

Idris, who regularly DJs, said that he relates to Dave as he has no interest in awards and simply just loves music. 

Sad: A source at the Vegas rehearsals previously told Page Six late that the singer often made sobbing calls to her boyfriend that interrupted practice

Claro Amfo then awarded Silk Sonic aka Bruno Mars and Anderson .Paak. with the best International Act. The duo weren’t in the country to receive the accolade, but admitted they were happy to share it – before jokingly wrestling over it.

Mo revealed ‘replacement Mo’ – Sir Mo Farah – would be announcing the prestigious Artist Of The Year Award. Dave, Little Simz, Sam Fender, Ed Sheeran and Adele were all in the running for the award.

Perhaps unsurpisngly, Adele scooped the award in her third outfit of the night, as she joked she had never changed so quickly in her life.

Adele said: ‘In the UK we have so many new young artists. Never loose sight of who you are. People are into you because of something you have in one. I know that the name of this has changed, but I’m really proud of being a female artist. I love being a woman!’

Presenting the penultimate award, Succession’s Brian Cox announced that Ed Sheer was being awarded with Songwriter Of The Year, thanks to his own work and collaborations with others.

Thanking his colleagues and loved ones, Ed said: ‘My wife cherie at the drop of a hat will come to a secluded studio in the middle of nowhere where we’ll just write song after song, thank you, you’re the best.’

Elsewhere in the crowd, Mo didn’t hold back when he asked Maya about the ‘massive rock’ on her finger. While Maya – who is yet to publicly confirm her engagement to baksetball star Ben Simmons – told him to ‘move on’.

It’s set to be a big night for British music, with Adele and Ed Sheeran leading the 2022 BRIT Awards nominations, with an impressive four nods each.

Joining Adele and Ed with four nominations are Little Simz and Dave, who along with Sam Fender, will battle it out for the inaugural Artist of the Year award at the ceremony which airs at 8pm on ITV and will be hosted by Mo Gilligan for the first time.

The ceremony, in association with Mastercard, sees the most female artists nominated in over a decade, however, they are still outnumbered three to two by male nominees.  

Sam Fender, Central Cee, David Guetta are up for three awards on the night, while Doja Cat, Olivia Rodrigo, Billie Eilish, Lil Nas X are each nominated for two prizes and will go up against Taylor Swift for International Artist of the Year award. 

Elsewhere, there are plenty of artist who’ve been double nominated for the 2022 ceremony including Becky Hill, Coldplay, Dua Lipa, Glass Animals, Griff, Joel Corry, Joy Crookes and KSI.

While Little Mix, Måneskin, Raye, Tom Grennan and Wolf Alice are also recognised twice.

Little Mix’s nomination comes weeks after the girls decided to take an extended break to concentrate on solo efforts, with their nods being the first time they’ve been nominated as a trio since Jesy Nelson quit last December.

They’ll be hoping to emulate their success from last year, where they won Best Group for the first time and also became the first ever female group to do so.

Other artists hoping to win big on the night include ABBA, AJ Tracey, Anne-Marie, Drake, Elton John, Ghetts, London Grammar and The Weeknd.  

The awards will see contenders battle for artist of the year instead of male solo artist and female solo artist. Best international artist of the year will be used in replace of best international female, or male solo artist. 

Meanwhile, the song of the year prize will recognise the featured artists, rather than just the lead artists or named collaborators. 

The ceremony will also feature four new awards, alternative/rock act; hip hop/grime/rap act; dance act and pop/R’n’B act.

These four new genre awards were up for a public vote on the Tik Tok app, as for the first time in the ceremony’s 45-year history, fans got to decide the outcome. The vote closed at 6pm GMT Thursday February 3, with users able to cast up to ten votes per category, per day.   

The changes come after singer Sam Smith – who identifies as non-binary – put organisers under pressure to scrap male and female categories earlier this year.

The ceremony will see Ed Sheeran, Liam Gallagher, Adele, Dave, Little Simz, and this year’s Rising Star award winner, Holly Humberstone, take to the stage for performances.

Doja Cat had also been on the lineup, but was forced to pull out after several members of her crew tested positive for Covid.

She tweeted last week: ‘Unfortunately, due to cases of COVID within my crew, I will no longer be performing at the Brits. ‘It’s simply not safe for us to continue to rehearse together and put each other in harm’s way. I can’t wait to perform for my UK fans as soon as I can. Take care of yourselves.’

The rap star – who received nods for International Artist Of The Year and Best International Song for her SZA collaboration Kiss Me More – herself tested positive for the virus in December. 

The Brit Awards 2022 will air on ITV at 8PM live from the 02 Arena in London. 

BRIT AWARDS NOMINATIONS 2022

ARTIST OF THE YEAR 

Adele

Dave

Ed Sheeran

Little Simz

Sam Fender

GROUP

Coldplay

D-Block Europe

Little Mix

London Grammar

Wolf Alice

BRITs RISING STAR 

Holly Humberstone – WINNER!

Bree Runway

Lola Young

SONG OF THE YEAR

A1 & J1 – Latest Trends

Adele – Easy On Me

Anne-Marie/KSI/Digital Farm Animals – Don’t Play

Becky Hill & David Guetta – Remember

Central Cee – Obsessed With You

Dave ft. Stormzy – Clash

Ed Sheeran – Bad Habits

Elton John & Dua Lipa – Cold Heart (Pnau Remix)

Glass Animals – Heat Waves

Joel Corry/Raye/David Guetta – Bed

KSI – Holiday

Nathan Evans/220Kid/Billen Red – Wellerman

Riton x Nightcrawlers ft. Mufasa & Hypeman – Friday

Tion Wayne & Russ Millions – Body

Tom Grennan – Little Bit Of Love

BEST NEW ARTIST

Joy Crookes

Central Cee

Self Esteem

Griff

Little Simz

MASTERCARD ALBUM OF THE YEAR

Adele – 30

Dave – We’re All Alone In This Together

Ed Sheeran – =

Little Simz – Sometimes I Might Be Introvert

Sam Fender – Seventeen Going Under

POP, R&B

Adele

Dua Lipa

Ed Sheeran

Griff

Joy Crookes

DANCE

Becky Hill

Calvin Harris

Fred

Joel Corry

Raye

ROCK, ALTERNATIVE

Coldplay

Glass Animals

Sam Fender

Tom Grennan

Wolf Alice

HIP-HOP, GRIME, RAP 

AJ Tracey

Central Cee

DaveGhetts

Little Simz

INTERNATIONAL ARTIST 

Billie Eilish

Doja Cat

Lil Nas X

Olivia Rodrigo

Taylor Swift

INTERNATIONAL GROUP

ABBA

BTS

Måneskin

Silk Sonic

The War On Drugs

BEST INTERNATIONAL SONG

ATB / Topic / A7S – Your Love (9PM)

Billie Eilish – Happier Than Ever

Ckay – Love Nwantiti (Ah Ah Ah)

Doja Cat ft SZA – Kiss Me More

Drake ft Lil Baby – Girls Want Girls

Galantis, David Guetta & Little Mix – Heartbreak Anthem

Jonasu – Black Magic

Kid Laroi & Justin Bieber – Stay

Lil Nas X – Montero (Call Me By Your Name)

Lil TJ & 6lack – Calling My Phone

Maneskin – I Wanna Be Your Slave

Olivia Rodrigo – Good 4U

Polo G – Rapstar

Tiesto – The Business

The Weeknd – Save Your Tears

PRODUCER OF THE YEAR 

To be announced

SONGWRITER OF THE YEAR  

To be announced 

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